The man who set out on a walk and never looked back
JOHN Treagood has the face of a man who has been on the road for more than 40 years and seen a great deal – and it does not lie.
Anyone who drives around Mid Devon will have seen John, and his elegant wagon pulled by his even-tempered Irish cob horse, Gildor.
Many will have driven past or seen the wagon parked on a roundabout or waste patch but few stop – and then only to snatch a photograph of a man who would rather be left alone.
A lecturer in environmental studies in Yorkshire, John turned his back on mainstream life 40 years ago. He went for a walk one day, didn't stop, and never went back.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He trekked to the Westcountry, bought a horse and wagon when he had enough money, and built another wagon based on a Kentish bow top design.
Despite sub-zero temperatures, John, 76, reckons life gets better every year, as the rest of the "sane world" frets and panics.
"I don't care too much if the world is in meltdown. I don't listen to the news," he said. "People come up to me all the time and say 'I wish had the guts to do what you have done'. But it doesn't take guts, just madness. It's mad in my world and sane in their world. A recession doesn't affect our life.
"I went travelling for a month to clear my head when I was lecturing in Leeds. I never stopped."
He says he doesn't feel the cold and that Devon winters are mild, which is why he is here just now. Even though he is entitled as a pensioner, John does not take any state benefits, declaring: "It is immoral."
He makes money doing odd jobs such as pruning hedges, while collecting water from streams and food from the land.
In his van you might find a few pheasants hanging, and John eats and picks berries and vegetables along his way.
He drinks three pints of water a day to "rid himself of impurities", while old Glidor will sink 10 of the 15 gallons of water he collects daily. He cuts up carrots and apples for his beloved equine friend.
John is rarely ill, but slipped from his caravan in the frost, breaking his arm. He didn't seek hospital treatment until three days after the incident, having walked four miles to a friend for help.
His only items from odern life are a radio, to listen to country and western music, and a mobile phone. "A friend said I'd need one for emergencies, but I haven't switched it on for six months."